The tenth issue of Inspire magazine, released by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula last Thursday, offers its readers an array of ideas and advice for supporting the global jihadist movement.
In the issue, lone wolf attacks are specifically encouraged: “Praises [to] the Knights of Lone Jihad...You are Lethal! You are Devastating!” Would-be lone wolves are advised to engage in attacks on the road by causing traffic accidents and torching parked vehicles, as well as assassinating political leaders and former political leaders who may be less protected (American, British and French former political operatives and diplomats are mentioned by name).
Following Thursday’s release of Inspire, AQAP also released a compilation of the advice it has published for carrying out attacks as the “Lone Mujahid Pocketbook.”
Inspire also contains an interview with the American spokesman for Al Qaeda, Adam Gadahn. If the interview proves to be authentic, it is the first English-language message from Gadahn since a June 2011 video in which he called on American Muslims to launch lone wolf attacks on U.S. soil. He has, however, more recently appeared in Arabic-language videos discussing the Arab Spring and Al Qaeda’s role in it.
Gadahn, who was a pioneer in the field of so-called “jihadi media,” reiterates its purported importance in the interview, calling on his fellow propagandists to “make every effort to reach out to Muslims both through new media like Facebook and Twitter as well as the traditional broadcast and print media.”
In an apparent call for violence, Gadahn instructs “mujahideen around the world” to focus their efforts on “direct engagement at home and abroad with America and its NATO partners, particularly France and Britain.”
Another article from the magazine, called “We Are All Usama,” which focuses on the need for Muslim unity in the face of insults by the West, was used by jihadist hackers to replace several university websites on Friday and over the weekend.
The magazine continues to focus on the September 2011 deaths of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical cleric who became a leading ideologue and commander of AQAP; and Samir Khan, who was believed to be responsible for producing the first issues of Inspire. Al-Awlaki and Khan, as well as a third individual named Abu Yazeed al-Qatari, are featured in a “letter to the editor” that praises the men for their commitment to jihad.
Although Inspire continues to solicit contributions from its readers, digital copies of the magazine appear to be secured which doesn’t allow for the magazine to be printed. This may be an effort to prevent its use as evidence in terrorism cases; the magazine has often been found in the possession of terrorism suspects as both a source of radicalizing material and for its easy-to-follow instructions for carrying out attacks.
In a further move to raise the level of security, AQAP also issued a statement on jihadist forums over the weekend indicating that it would no longer communicate with individual supporters planning attacks via email and urged those already in contact to stop immediately.